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Plymptoons: The Complete Works of Bill Plympton

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Like ’60s underground comics king Robert Crumb, Bill Plympton is his generation’s cartoonist-in-chief, with MTV replacing LSD as the touchstone for his sensibilities. Using dark-edged, scratchy-ink animation, he makes the gross and the grotesque seem normal and vice versa in Plymptoons: The Complete Works of Bill Plympton — you may never French-kiss again after seeing his hygiene-class parody, ”How to Kiss.” Both there and in such comic noodlings as the Academy Award-nominee ”Your Face,” body parts and facial features stretch and contort and fold in upon themselves with blithe, balletic grace, while their owners remain blissfully deadpan. The 19 pieces in this collection form the complete Plympton oeuvre to date, excluding MTV-run excerpts from The Tune, his 1992 animated feature. This means we also get two unimpressive early pieces, a music video for singer Peter Himmelman, and TV commercials for Trivial Pursuit and NutraSweet. A-

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